Gov. Mike Parson says he talked to President Donald Trump today on the phone about a St. Louis couple who pointed guns at protesters walking through their neighborhood last month. Photos and videos have gone viral of Mark McCloskey sporting a rifle and Patricia McCloskey flashing a pistol as protesters filed by.
During a press conference today at the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Parson addressed the matter without being prompted by reporters. He says the McCloskeys had every right to protect their property under Missouri’s Castle Doctrine. The governor is one of the architects of Missouri’s Castle Doctrine – a law allowing residents to use force against intruders in their home.
“They have the ability to do that as private citizens like everyone else,” says Parson. “But what they should not go through is a prosecutor attempting to take their Constitutional rights away by filing charges against them for protecting their property.”
Mark McCloskey says he and his wife were socially intimidated and terrorized by some of the individuals and he feared for his life when they came onto his property.
Parson went on to say removing an elected official from office is very difficult and should be addressed in a future legislative session. He says Trump and U.S. Attorney William Barr are reviewing the event between the McCloskeys and protesters.
“He understands the situation in St. Louis and how out of control it is for a prosecutor to let violent criminals off and not do their job and try to attack law-abiding citizens,” says Parson. “The conversation I had with the president said that he would do everything he could within his powers to help with this situation and that he would be taking action.”
Parson did not elaborate on the kind of action the president would be taking.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has released a statement saying Parson and Trump are going after her for doing her job and investigating a case.
“While they continue to play politics with the handling of this matter, spreading misinformation and distorting the truth, I refuse to do so. As I always do, I am reviewing all the available facts and the law and will apply them equally, regardless of the people involved,” says Gardner. “It is unbelievable the Governor of the state of Missouri would seek advice from one of the most divisive leaders in our generation to overpower the discretion of a locally elected prosecutor. It is also incredible that at a time when our nation is dealing with a rapidly spreading deadly virus and our state reported a record number of new infections, they are launching these dog-whistle attacks against me. They should be focused on their jobs and I’ll focus on mine.”
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